‘What your marketing strategy will teach you about sales’
Sales and marketing have been at loggerheads forever. Just ask any marketer in the room. While marketing doesn't 'sell' per se, they are responsible for providing the forum for sales to occur. This means lead generation, brand building and sales support. Sales people sell.
Marketing versus Sales
When marketing and sales operate together as a single entity they become so much more than the sum of their parts. They complement each other in a way nothing else can.
When marketing and sales don’t align however the bottom line of your business takes a hit. Prioritising different outcomes without an overarching goal will only lead to friction.
A common example in the workplace involves the sales team not making their numbers and it turns out that they didn’t have enough leads. Looking at the example more closely you may conclude sales didn’t have enough opportunities, which implies the marketing team didn’t give them enough good leads. This can lead to a misaligned relationship between sales and marketing.
Marketing and sales strategies work better together
What we can agree is both marketing and sales are focused on bringing new business into your company. While both teams may go about this in different ways they must synchronize on the overarching goal of the business.
What comes first is marketing. The marketing team works on creating activities that get potential people interested in a company. The sales team from here develops relationships with these prospects persuading them to sign along the dotted line.
Consider quality over quantity
When it comes to attracting potential customers, consider quality over quantity. Marketing and sales should focus much of their efforts on understanding their buyer persona. If you don’t understand your ideal audience your conversion rates will always be low.
Any marketing strategy will inform the buying process. It is the responsibility of both the marketer and the salesperson to ensure minimal drop off at each stage of the buying process.
The two teams established goals can help improve the buying process effectively causing the cash register to ring more frequently.
A number game
No matter the strategy both sales and marketing are number games. Marketing deals with numbers that are orders of magnitude greater than what sales can handle. A marketing team may send out 10,000 names out in a direct mail piece only hoping to get 100 or so leads. Depending on the sales process, those few leads need to be nurtured.
The power of sales insight
Marketing strategy can gain considerable insight from sales. Sales personnel can provide specific, actionable feedback on lead quality which can help improve the marketing strategies chance of success in addition to shortening the amount of time it takes to close sales.
Furthermore information about the effectiveness of particular marketing pieces isn’t just quantitative, sales personnel insight gained from talking with prospects helps to inform the marketing strategy quality leading to a measurable difference in sales results.
The nature of sales means that the salespeople are able to gain greater first hand knowledge of customers in real time.
Valuable feedback is often gathered by sales personnel in the field and should be passed along to marketing whenever possible. Sales personnel can provide marketing strategies key intelligence on competitor information, names of customers, field notes and sales data etc.
What can be learnt from sales
Every company needs to make money to stay in business.
An aligned relationship between marketing and sales can lead to more measurable results.
A marketing strategy which works alongside sales can produce better qualified leads, accurate buyer personas, better engagement and stronger relationships.
Valuable feedback gathered by sales personnel can inform marketing strategy quality allowing businesses to stay ahead of the competition and of course increase revenue.